Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - South Korea’s SpaceX lunar project is postponed to 2022

South Korea’s SpaceX lunar project is postponed to 2022

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The South Korean government’s plan to use a SpaceX projectile to search the orbit of the moon has been postponed to July 2022. SUSAN CIPRIANO/PIXABAY

South Korea’s SpaceX lunar project is postponed to 2022

The South Korean government’s plan to use a SpaceX projectile to search the orbit of the moon has been postponed to July 2022, the Ministry of Science and ICT said on Tuesday, amid lingering disputes over the projectile’s weight and design.

During a press briefing in Sejong city, the ministry announced that it had decided to delay the lunar projectile’s launch by 19 months. The projectile was supposed to be launched in December next year.

According to the government, there had been disputes among space experts about the ideal weight of the projectile at an early phase of the lunar programme. The debate became more intense when the government decided to choose the SpaceX projectile over a home-grown one in 2017.

“Our project was delayed because we can’t bridge the gaps between the researchers,” Choi Won-ho, a ministry official, told reporters. “There has been a clash of opinions whether a 678kg projectile can carry out the mission.”

According to the government’s new lunar search programme, the weight of the projectile would increase to 678kg from its previous 550kg. The changed plan also called for the projectile to search the moon in a combination of circular and oval orbit.

Now that the government has changed the projectile’s weight and orbit path, the lunar search project is expected to require more budget. It is expected to be more than 16 billion won ($14 million).

Since the former Roh Moo-hyun administration vowed to send a projectile for lunar orbit search by 2020, there have been many ups and downs in the project. The subsequent Park Geun-hye administration moved up the timeline to 2017, but later pushed it back to 2018. THE KOREA HERALD


  • School reopening to be postponed until November

    Minister of Education Hang Chuon Naron on Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Hun Sen requesting a delay of school reopening across the Kingdom until November, when the new academic year begins. In his letter, Chuon Naron said the postponement is warranted to avoid the new

  • Foreigners in Kingdom must now register in FPCS system

    The Ministry of Interior’s General Department of Immigration (GDI) announced that it would not grant visa extensions to foreigners staying in Cambodia if their names are not listed on the Foreigners Present in Cambodia System (FPCS) by July 1. Foreign nationals can register in the

  • Covid-19 at ‘alarming rate’, health ministry says

    The Covid-19 risk level for individual transmission is at an “alarming rate” in the Kingdom and its probability is “not low”, warned Health Ministry spokesperson Or Vandine. “Cambodia’s coronavirus scenario is classified as being at an early stage of the pandemic because of ongoing

  • Mandatory quarantine for 30,000 workers begins

    Some of the roughly 30,000 workers from factories and enterprises across the Kingdom who went on leave during Khmer New Year began their government-imposed 14-day quarantine on Monday. Speaking at a press conference while visiting workers at the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone on Monday, Ministry

  • Unemployed to get $40 per month

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training has instructed enterprises, business owners and travel agencies in five provinces to prepare the proper forms for the suspension of employment contracts. This, it said, will make it easier for the ministry to transfer $40 a month to workers

  • Gov’t travel ban flouted

    While the majority of Cambodians have paid heed to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s order to stay put and not travel during the Khmer New Year – the holidays of which were also postponed – several hundred have left Phnom Penh nonetheless. They have allegedly breached provincial

  • G20 energy ministers struggle to finalise oil output cuts

    Top oil producers struggled to finalise production cuts during a virtual summit held by Group of 20 (G20) energy ministers on Friday, despite US President Donald Trump’s mediation efforts to end a standoff with Mexico. The final G20 communique appeared to gloss over simmering divisions

  • Kingdom revises travel restriction order

    The government on Friday eased the district and provincial border restrictions issued on Thursday. People are now allowed to cross districts within their provinces. Phnom Penh and Kandal province are to be treated as a single region where people are allowed to travel freely. In

  • Private schools struggling

    The Cambodian Higher Education Association has claimed that 113 private educational establishments are facing bankruptcy because of their inability to pay rent and staff salaries in light of nationwide school closures caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. It said the financial trouble started when the Ministry of

  • Khmer New Year holidays postponed

    In an effort to halt Covid-19 infections in the Kingdom, Prime Minister Hun Sen has postponed the Khmer New Year holidays scheduled from April 13 to 16. While the people will not have their usual break, nor will there be any public celebrations or gatherings at pagodas,